ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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The Emergence of New Reservationists

Fresh demands for reservation should also include the demand for more job creation.


The growing countrywide demand for the inclusion of new castes in the reservation quotas has entered an interesting phase. It seeks to disabuse the reservation policy of its stigmatisation by its opponents. At the same time, it has forced some of these diehard opponents to shift their focus of criticism from institutional well-being to the more abstract level

of the nation. A few decades ago, these opponents sought to stigmatise the reservation principle by deploying a morally ­offensive language to describe its beneficiaries, more particularly the Scheduled Castes (SCs), as the “sons-in-law” of the government (implying that they were an unreasonably pampered lot), “enemies of merit” and “stumbling block for efficient functioning.” Thus, the target of such malicious critiques was specifically a concrete social group. The opponents used public good such as institutional well-being as the pretext to express their hate and anger against a particular group rather than ­reservation itself. Interestingly, if not deceptively, the assumption behind this slur was not a particular person or a group of persons, but the concern for institutional well-being. Put differently, such criticism suggested that merit and efficiency could be restored in public institutions without reservation. Thus, during the anti-Mandal agitation, the morally offensive language that sought to stigmatise the reservation policy formed a part of “caste common sense.”

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Updated On : 24th Apr, 2020
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